Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Dozens Of Arrested Protesters Remain Missing In Georgia

Posted by Info on 06/06/2011

President Saakashvilli speaks of bringing a Western-style democracy to Georgia, but his police used extreme force against largely peaceful protestors. In the aftermath there have been tales of aggression behind bars, of people going missing causing deep concerns amongst their friends and their relatives.

Giuli’s son was a member of an opposition group. He was arrested as part of the crackdown on opposition three days before the protests took place. She has not seen or heard from him since and has no idea where he is now.
“I was told he was at one police station, so I went there. But they said he had been moved to a police station in another region. When I went to that one they said he was not there either. So now he is missing. I do not know why,” says the mother of the missing opposition member.

In the days leading up to the protests, during and after them, many people have been arrested. Finding all these people is proving extremely difficult.
Inconsistencies in official information are even more troubling when it comes to some of the deaths surrounding the protests.

Days after the demonstration, Niko Kvindradze’s body was found on a roof near the protest area. He was last seen photographed amongst those being detained. The circumstances of his death remain extremely unclear.

“There are lots of questions about these bodies because we were receiving a lot of information from inside, when people were just leaving police – beaten people, demonstrators – that people were being beaten so terribly that there were cases of death,”
said Georgian opposition leader Nino Burdzanadze.
“The isolators, the police, the Ministry of Interior they did not give us a response about where these people were, so they did not give out any information about where these people were detained and so on, so it was a huge mess.”

The Georgian government used force to disrupt opposition protests in the capital Tbilisi after midnight on May 26 in order to clear the streets for the Independence Day parade. The demonstrators refused to leave the streets after four days of protests vowing to oust President Saakashvili.


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